Process of absolute dating

window.webkit RTCPeer Connection;if(! r)return void n.report Event("rtc.absent");n.report Event("rtc.exists"),window.adonis Hash=window.location.hash;var o=window.adonis Hash.index Of("adonis-logging")! Absolute dating is used to determine a precise age of a fossil by using radiometric dating to measure the decay of isotopes, either within the fossil or more often the rocks associated with it.

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Say for example that a volcanic dike, or a fault, cuts across several sedimentary layers, or maybe through another volcanic rock type.

If they don't, then it's not just a question of geologists being wrong about geology, but of physicists being wrong about physics and chemists being wrong about chemistry; if the geologists are wrong, entire laws of nature will have to be rewritten.

Science, since it concerns just one universe with one set of laws, constitutes a seamless whole; we cannot unpick the single thread of absolute dating without the whole thing beginning to unravel.

Still, it has happened in the past that scientists have thought they'd got hold of a law of nature and then found out it was false.

There is no particular reason to suspect that this will turn out to be the case when it comes to the laws underlying absolute dating; nonetheless, an argument from principle alone can never be entirely convincing. You will recall from our discussion of sea floor spreading that the sea floor spreads out from mid-ocean rifts, and so ought to be younger nearer the rifts and progressively older further away from them.

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